Error: Private scholarships are 2% of all available aid.
From context, the speaker was refering to just grant aid, not all
For students enrolled in Bachelor's degree programs, private
scholarships represent 2.6% of all available aid (including loans) and
6.0% of all grant aid.
Error: The out-of-pocket cost is the EFC plus unmet need.
EFC plus unmet need is the same as the difference between the cost of
attendance and all financial aid. That is the net cost, not the
out-of-pocket cost. The out-of-pocket cost (also known as the net
price) is the difference between the cost of attendance and just
The out-of-pocket cost is the best way of comparing college costs
because it reflects the true bottom-line cost to the family. It is the
amount of money the family must pay from savings, income and loans to
cover the college costs.
The examples given in the presentation compared two colleges based on
net cost, not the out-of-pocket cost. This made one college appear to
be less expensive because it included more loans in the financial aid
package. But loans need to be repaid and so do not reduce college
Error: The government says that the average financial aid package
consists of 60% loans.
The correct percentage is 25%. The financial aid package does not
include non-need-based loans. This figure was calculated using the
data analysis system for the 2007-08 National Postsecondary Student
Aid Study (NPSAS) by dividing the mean loans by the mean
financial aid, with non-need-based loans excluded.
If non-need-based loans like the unsubsidized Stafford loan, Parent
PLUS loans and private student loans are included, the percentage is
Error: Early decision reduces your aid package.
There is no evidence that early decision candidates are offered less
financial aid than regular decision applicants to the same
college. Colleges use the same packaging philosophy for students in
the early decision and regular admissions pools, with one noteworthy
difference. Students who apply early decision usually satisfy the
preferred deadline for applying for financial aid, and so receive
financial aid offers based on a larger pool of funding. (Early
decision deadlines occur before the January 1 start date for filing
the FAFSA, so the initial financial aid packages are early estimates
that will be replaced with a final financial aid package later.) All
early decision colleges will release a student from the early decision
commitment if the family feels that the financial aid package is
Early decision applicants lose the ability to compare aid offers with
other colleges and to choose the college with the lowest net
price. But they are not offered any less financial aid from the early
decision college than they would have received if they had applied for
On the other hand, early decision applicants tend to be more affluent
than regular admission applicants. The typical financial aid package
received by these students will tend to be smaller as a result. But
these students would not have qualified for more financial aid by
applying during the regular admissions cycle.